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UK Blinds Market & Trends: Q and A with David Roebuck from Direct Blinds

As part of our commitment to bring you the latest trends and innovations in curtains and blinds, our team travel the world exploring the latest trends and speaking to our friends playing in the international market. Recently, we sat down and chatted trends and the UK blinds market with with UK blinds expert David Roebuck. David is Managing Director of Direct Blinds.  Here’s what he had to say:

What is the most popular products sold in the UK blinds market at the moment?

Obviously as an online only retailer we can only relate to our particular marketplace and this is influenced mainly by domestic sales for use in the home. Roller blinds are our most popular product followed by Wooden blinds with Vertical Louvre and Roman blinds remaining popular. We have seen a decrease recently in the popularity of 25mm Metal Venetian blinds. Electric motorised Roller blinds are becoming popular due to the reduced costs of this control option.

Plain Dim Out and Blackout fabrics dominate the sales in Roller blinds whilst transparent Voiles are also very popular. In my opinion the aesthetic look and feel of blinds in the Uk market often comes before the practicality of light, solar and privacy control. UPVC Faux wood blinds are a growing trend due to cost and the option of a grained effect on the popular white finishes.

What are the current colour trends in the UK blinds market right now?

Grey is becoming the new cream in the UK. Shades of grey have been popular now for around a year and show no signs of slowing down. Having said that white is still by far the most popular if uninspiring, choice closely followed by tones of creams and beige.

Where do see the UK blinds market in 5 years?

Whilst the UK is a world leader in E-commerce I believe that we still have plenty of scope for further growth. A recent feature has seen many of the big high street names moving up the rankings, generally based on their Brand power rather than on their made to measure product offering. Whilst Google continues with its ‘big brand’ preference it will make the work of the specialist more difficult. The state of general economy will also be paramount and with Brexit creating so much uncertainty at present who can really guess where this will go in the next couple of years, never mind five.

What percentage of the UK market are buying window coverings online vs. traditional retail shops?

We are still looking at a single figure percentage of online sales – so massive potential to grow online!

Are you seeing motorisation becoming more popular with the DIY online market?

Yes, the falling cost of motorisation particularly battery powered for Roller blinds, is proving popular. The importance and greater consumer awareness of chain loop safety is also a factor as is the general move to automation and technology.

How and why did Direct Blinds start their online business?

Direct Blinds began selling and manufacturing blinds under the Swift Blinds name, from the founders family home back in 1969. All types of blinds were supplied into all markets using a traditional showroom and field sales force approach. Around 50% of blinds were measured and installed by the company with the remaining blinds being sent by carriers to various other retailers and blind users around the UK.

Soon after the millennium we became a supplier and distributor to a local new launch online blind retailer and both parties enjoyed a successful period of unprecedented growth. The relationship became difficult due to the pressure of price and margins for the two companies and we decided to go our own way.

Our experience gave us the insight and confidence to go all out and transform our business model into what it is today, a 100% online business with no other way to market. The journey took 5 years and saw some fundamental changes in personnel, customers and products alike. Google are now our largest ‘supplier’ and the old showroom is now our sampling department!

Going online has its own different issues and problems compared to our previous model and isn’t for everybody, looking back we were in a pretty unique position of having a wide diverse customer base that gave us the opportunity to move on without the risk of losing everything in one fell swoop. I think everyone in the business would now agree that it was the right move for us and at the right time.

5 Affordable Ways to Increase Your Home Security

5 Affordable Ways to Increase Your Home Security

There are many things you can do to increase your home’s security.  Some methods may be more expensive and involve high-tech methods but there are some affordable methods that work well at increasing security also.  Below, we have provided you with 5 affordable ways that you can increase the security around your home.  Utilizing these methods can deter thieves and provide you with more peace of mind as well.

1. Put Window Blinds in Your Windows – You may be wondering how beneficial window blinds can be since they can’t keep a thief out, but they are a very good method for deterring thieves because they take away the thief’s visibility. When you have good quality blinds on your windows no one will be able to see inside.  This becomes even more important around Christmas time when thieves are looking for gift filled homes to target.  Preventing them from being able to see inside by using blinds can be a good deterrent to encourage them to skip your home.  Make sure the blinds are good quality and don’t forget to keep them closed at night and whenever you are gone, even if it is during the day. These are the most common times for a thief to be checking things out so if they can’t tell what’s on the other side of the blinds, they could possibly decide it’s just too risky. Thieves want the quickest way in and out of a home and not knowing what they are crawling into can be too uncertain for most.

2. Security Signs in the Yard – It may sound like a gimmick but placing security signs in your yard where they can be seen easily can be a huge deterrent to thieves especially if it is a security sign that is known for being connected automatically to the police.  Some people use these signs even if they don’t have a home security system.  It is important to note that while the signs may deter thieves, there is no actual protection that these signs provide unless you have the actual security system.  You can use the signs along with the other suggestions we have listed for added security, but don’t rely on the signs alone.

3. Window Sensors with Alarms – There are window sensors that you can purchase at any home improvement store that will sound a piercing alarm if the window is opened or the glass is broken.  If the thief tries to get in a window and when it is opened, even a little, or the glass is broken, a piercing, LOUD alarm sounds, chances are they will run. The last thing a thief wants it to draw attention to themselves.  These window sensors and alarms should be placed on all windows, especially the first floor. Look for the window sensors/alarms that are super loud.  It may be a little unnerving if you forget and open the window one day, but something that is not loud at all isn’t going to deter anyone. You want something so loud that it can be heard easily outside and throughout the house so they will want to run.

4. Mind Your Mail and Newspapers – If you are going to be away for a few days it is very important that you make arrangements for your mail to be held as well as your newspaper. Thieves look for mail piled up on a number of papers in the driveway which indicate that the home owner is out of town.

5. Don’t Advertise on Social Media – It is never a good idea to post on social media that you are leaving, going on vacation or will otherwise be leaving your home unattended.  There are thieves that will look for people doing this so they can target your home while you are gone.  As hard as it may be, save the social media posts for when you are back home.

Blinds and your kitchenThe kitchen is probably the most important room in the house, and it has a large impact on resale value. But how can you keep it looking modern and fresh on a budget?

Blinds on the Net was recently asked to answer this question for an article by loan comparison site RateCity. Read the full article, ‘Save on Your Mortgage and Update Your Kitchen’, to see what we and other leading industry experts had to say.

Natural light is highly important in the kitchen, and will be a major selling point for your home. In order to make the most of the available light, the right window covering can make all the difference, as well as adding a splash of colour for an updated look.

Blinds on the Net has an extensive range of roller blinds in a wide variety of colours, and we can help you choose the perfect product for your kitchen makeover. Be sure to check out our website before you undertake any renovations, as RateCity says, ‘the site also offers measuring instructions, installation videos and a sample service, which can be invaluable to renovators.’

blinds Melbourne

When it comes to blinds Melbourne holds its own as style capital

A quick survey of the kind of blinds Melbourne retailers are reporting as strong sellers, has confirmed that the category remains strong in the city of style. Whether used in block out fabrics in conjunction with sheer curtains or in more traditional applications, blinds are a staple for many homeowners in the Victorian capital.

One retailer in Melbourne says that, aside from plantation shutters, sunscreens, blockout rollers and roman blinds are his quickest movers. And with a lot of big stacker doors going into new homes, panel blinds are also making a comeback. This resurgence has also been driven by the introduction of new mechanisms in panel blinds, in which a ‘fixed’ panel can be manoeuvred for easy access to the window, making cleaning a breeze, while improved new brackets make for easier installation.

Another commentator says natural looking window coverings continue to achieve strong sales in Melbourne. In particular this style of fabric lends itself well to roman blinds. Sleeker new systems for roman blinds are also strong sellers in Melbourne. They often feature a contemporary slimline aluminium profile, end covers for a neat overall finish and a slim spool that utilises a thin cord for improved appearance of sheer romans. Updated features for roman blinds also include low profile mounting clips; push and release spring loaded mounting clip options and installation with a slim spool featuring integrated clamps for quick assembly into the head rail, as well as an easy method for cord replacement, if required.

When it comes to the exciting part, fabrics, for those in search of products catering to a wide spectrum of tastes in blinds Melbourne offers the broadest choice.

blinds Melbourne

One commentator notes that translucent fabrics remain popular and are often presented in a subdued and neutral colour palette in different textures and opacity. “Many of the new translucent fabric ranges have added benefits including the fact that they’re treated with coating, which effectively reduces the development of bacteria, odour and mildew or repels stain causing agents with its proven, water based, preventative formula.”

“Despite the strong interest in neutrals, homeowners in the Melbourne market are perhaps the most likely to adopt a slightly more daring approach to colour. We’ve seen interest in bolder geometric prints or lush botanicals achieve a strong uptake in the local market. People in Melbourne don’t mind taking a bit of a risk and going the extra mile to make that statement.”

Meanwhile as a classic form of window covering with a broad array of applications, the humble venetian blind continues to hold its own in the Melbourne market. In particular timber venetians are sought after for their authenticity and warmth.

One specialist notes that while this style of blind may have been around for a long time and been superseded in some areas by more directional products, its simple, cost-effective yet visually appealing qualities are still prized in some quarters.

“They are still one of our strongest sellers. Where simple functionality and style are required, it’s hard to beat a venetian blind.”

“Venetian blinds in Melbourne do particularly well as they’re cost-effective and low maintenance but also stylish.”

Adelaide house

In an analysis of the market for blinds Adelaide is on the up

With the SA summer now in full swing, the market for blinds in Adelaide is running hot at the moment. Indoor window coverings – from roller blinds to roller shades or panel blinds – are achieving strong uptake in the South Australian capital as solar shading devices.

Anecdotal evidence from the retail sector confirms business is up from last year. This is partly a seasonal development, according to one retailer, with many households experiencing a pre-Christmas renovation ‘frenzy’ in the lead-up to Christmas. However it’s also due to the growth of new developments in Adelaide. “We’re working a lot with projects to fit out houses and apartments to buy off the plan,” says another. Another factor still is the influence of TV shows such as ‘The Block’ and the growing number of home décor resources on the internet.

Dual roller blinds that offer visibility, privacy and blockout are especially popular among younger shoppers, says one retailer.

“Of course in Adelaide we have a broad spectrum of housing styles. A lot of clients living in say North Adelaide would be owners of old Victorian houses and they’d definitely go more for classic styles but we also get a lot of interest for roman blinds and more ‘timeless items’ that can work in a modern setting.”

In terms of the colour palettes being adopted, overall customers for blinds in Adelaide continue to opt for more neutral, conservative hues.

“It is nice when someone is a bit more out there though! Recently we had a really vibrant, bold fabric from a leading high end fabric supplier that did surprisingly well.”

panel blinds Adelaide

Window treatment professionals working in the Adelaide market will advise customers according to their individual needs to recommend the best choice for their interior. They may also consult with an Adelaide based interior designer to find the best choice of blind for clients’ individual style.

“If you want blinds that take up as little space as possible, it’s worth looking at roman blinds and roller blinds. If your window fittings are tall, it might be worth considering vertical blinds.”

For suppliers of blinds Adelaide has a well-developed market, offering expert advice on the pros and cons of certain fabrics and blind styles. They can also help homeowners determine whether packaged window coverings are the best choice for their interiors, or whether custom made solutions would work better.

“We’re finding that customers tend to already be pretty well informed about the choices available to them. So product expertise and an understanding of the latest releases and trends are very important. We find customers increasingly asking us quite detailed questions about solar shading, visibility and temperature insulation elements of the products they’re buying. They’re also often interested in quite ‘new’ considerations such as acoustic performance. And of course, child safety is an important consideration when it comes to windows blinds in Adelaide, especially those with dangling cords.”

“In the Adelaide market consumers are definitely prepared to invest seriously in their blinds and other window treatments. Often times we’ll receive an approach from a client who has hired a professional interior decorator to work with them, but even if they haven’t, they’ve generally used the internet and other resources to really scope out what works for them.”

Blinds and your kitchen

It’s official: for homeowners in search of on-trend blinds Melbourne has the goods

Melbourne is often touted as the style capital of Australia and it’s certainly the home of directional fashion. But it’s not just the fashionistas of the Victorian capital that show this off to best advantage. If you’re after stylish windows ‘wearing’ the latest blinds Melbourne homes certainly fit the bill. There is undoubtedly an element of laid back style in most Australian homes, and in Melbourne this is given extra edge.

The population of the city of Melbourne is diverse and varied meaning a huge number of products can be targeted at many different market segments. For example, the owners of a top notch Victorian terrace in East Melbourne might opt for opulent drapes over blockout roller blinds or plantation shutters to give their interiors a heritage feel, while also protecting heirloom furniture from fading or reinforcing their sense of security. Meanwhile young couples taking up residence in Melbourne’s growing number of swanky new ‘yuppy’ apartments might opt for sleek venetian blinds or vertical blinds in most rooms, perhaps with the addition of on-trend sheer drapes in the lounge and bedroom.

Many new homes in Melbourne’s outer suburbs are benefiting from the possibilities offered by much wider width blinds designed to cover the expansive windows that have become increasingly fashionable in recent years. Meanwhile with warehouse conversions still regarded as hot properties, the inner, formerly industrial suburbs of the Victorian capital are receiving makeovers with tricked up windows, finished by sleek venetian blinds, translucent roller blinds or updated vertical blinds.

In fact retailers are reporting that vertical blinds, once thought of as a rather boring product destined for use in offices, warehouses and other commercial sites, have made something of a comeback in the Victorian capital, thanks to the release of revamped versions in fashionable colours and prints. Roller blinds are also a go-to product in Melbourne because they’re simple, affordable and never go out of style. They can also be hung as dual roller blinds, which blend the benefits of two roller blinds on one bracket, creating greater control over light entering the interior and visibility to the exterior. Other strong sellers in the Melbourne market are roman blinds, panel blinds, venetian blinds and cellular or honeycomb or honeycell blinds.

Honeycell blinds Melbourne“Honeycomb or honeycell blinds are a really great item, particularly in Melbourne because of their great insulating properties, which work wonders to keep homes warmer during the cooler months, but also function well in the Melbourne summer. They’re available in a wide range of colours and provide a contemporary look that works well with today’s modern décor,” says one observer of the market for blinds in Melbourne.

He adds that one of the most prominent reasons for blinds’ growing uptake in Melbourne is that many modern blinds offer light control and/or energy saving benefits.  As mentioned, cellular blinds are great for controlling heat and optimising insulation, while dual roller blinds have a highly effective blockout function. Vertical blinds and venetian blinds also allow for maximum light control.

Thanks to the rise of informative online arenas in the home décor and ‘green’ and energy saving spheres, Melbourne consumers are also increasingly well educated about the fabric used in their blinds. Many of them are opting for blinds made from sunscreen fabrics that allow for the control of heat and light as well as an outside view. Translucent fabrics ensure privacy during the day while diffusing the light entering the interior of the home. Melbourne consumers also expect their fabrics to meet certain standards. For example, most good quality blind fabrics are designed to withstand Australia’s harsh climate and usually come with a warranty, fire retardant and non-flammable properties; dust resistance, stain resistance, UV and fade resistance, bacteria and mould resistance.

Roller blinds Melbourne

Motorisation and automation are also top selling add-ons for Melbourne consumers investing in blinds for their home. Blind motorisation offers numerous benefits:-

  • Cost-effectiveness: Growing demand for motorised blinds has meant falling prices, resulting in a self-perpetuating situation that has seen high quality motorisation options steadily dropping in price in recent years.
  • Convenience: With the touch of a button you can move your blind to any position. Sensors and timers mean your products can be operated remotely, even when you’re not at home. Most current motors are fully concealed inside the tube of the blind and operate virtually noiselessly. Also, unlike manual operation, which can damage blinds through excessive pulling and improper operation, the controlled operation of blinds ensures good function and better durability.
  • Safety: This is an important issue, especially where young kids are involved, as loose cords and chains on venetian blinds, roller blinds, honeycomb blinds or panel blinds present a strangulation risk. Automated or motorised blinds generally don’t require cords, providing a much safer environment.

“People are becoming increasingly confident with the idea of motorisation and automation,” says one market watcher. “As the category experiences increased uptake, the price for the consumer is coming down, making it a much easier sell for most retailers. Busy city dwellers just love the idea of being able to control many of the functions of their home, including their blinds, at the touch of the button. As uptake has increased globally, many suppliers have increasingly invested in research and development, making these technologies increasingly fail-safe and user friendly. It’s a win-win for everyone!”

So there you have it; style, energy efficiency and touch button control are just some of the reasons why homeowners are increasingly investing in blinds in Melbourne. Add to these the ongoing buzz about home décor and design boosted by TV shows and online forums, from The Block to Pinterest, and it’s easy to see why homeowners are becoming inspired by the vast array of colours, styles and textures that the right blinds can bring to their homes.The result of all this is that there’s good reason to assume that blinds will continue to make a strong fashion statement in the houses of the Victorian capital.

Blinds in adelaide

Blinds in Adelaide: what’s hot and what’s not?

If you’re looking for specimens of the most functional and cutting edge blinds Adelaide undoubtedly has many examples; the SA capital is home to every imaginable property style from quaint heritage homes to contemporary apartments, with a huge spectrum of windows and their associated window coverings, to match.

“As summer approaches, the heat is really rising in the city’s window coverings market,” noted one commentator. “And blinds seem to be the product of choice.”

This demand is being driven by a number of factors; earlier this year Adelaide was ranked number five among the world’s most liveable cities by the annual Liveability Ranking from the Economist Intelligence Unit. Not surprisingly the city is undergoing something of a property boom in some quarters, with the associated rise in home renovations and new fit outs clearly noted by market observers. One of the outcomes of this state of affairs is renewed interest in home furnishings, among them, window treatments and blinds in particular.

Given the extremes of summer sun for which the ‘city of churches’ is known, one of the most prominent reasons for blinds’ growing popularity in Adelaide is that they offer unique light control and/or energy saving benefits. For example, roller blinds, when constructed using an appropriate fabric, have a highly effective blockout function. In fact when it comes to roller blinds Adelaide is a growing market. Whether single or dual, roller blinds enable homeowners to control the amount of light entering their interiors, reducing demand for expensive cooling measures such as air conditioning during the summer months.

Roller blinds in adelaide

According to one market expert, “roller blinds are a strong seller in Adelaide not just because they’re cost effective, practical and stylish, but because of their energy efficiency properties.”

“Adelaide consumers are also very self-educated about the fabric used in their blinds in terms of energy efficiency, with many opting for block out fabrics, making these one of the most popular blind fabrics in the Adelaide market. Sunscreen fabrics are also being favoured in South Australia as they help control heat and light while also optimising outside views. Meanwhile translucent fabrics, which provide daytime privacy while diffusing the light entering the room, are also in demand, particularly in vertical blinds and roller blinds, while sheer fabrics are another option, although many Adelaide home owners opt for some form of blockout addition to their sheers in order to reduce excesses of heat and light.”

Adelaide homeowners are also well informed about the range of standards that fabrics should ideally meet. Most good quality blind fabrics are designed to withstand Australia’s harsh climate and usually come with a warranty, fire retardant and non-flammable properties; dust resistance, stain resistance, UV and fade resistance, bacteria and mould resistance.

Observers of the Adelaide market are also reporting growing uptake of motorisation. As mentioned in previous posts, blind motorisation offers numerous benefits:-

  • Cost-effectiveness: Growing demand for motorised blinds has meant falling prices, resulting in a self-perpetuating situation that has seen high quality motorisation options steadily dropping in price in recent years.
  • Convenience: With the touch of a button you can move your blind to any position. Sensors and timers mean your products can be operated remotely, even when you’re not at home. Most current motors are fully concealed inside the tube of the blind and operate virtually noiselessly. Also, unlike manual operation, which can damage blinds through excessive pulling and improper operation, the controlled operation of blinds ensures good function and better durability.
  • Safety: This is an important issue, especially where young kids are involved, as loose cords and chains on venetian blinds, roller blinds, honeycomb blinds or panel blinds present a strangulation risk. Automated or motorised blinds generally don’t require cords, providing a much safer environment.

Other strong sellers in the Adelaide market include venetian blinds and vertical blinds.

“Venetian blinds are a classic that works well in both modern and older homes,” says one observer. “Many homeowners are looking at timber or timber look venetians to add warmth and a classic touch to their home, as well as ease of use in terms of controlling the light entering their interiors and optimising the views to the outside. Timber look venetians are a great alternative to real timber versions, offering the visual appeal of wooden blades but entailing a much smaller outlay. They also avoid a number of the issues around warping and bowing that can occur with real timber; and of course they are a very practical option for wet areas.”

verticals blinds in adelaide

“When it comes to vertical blinds Adelaide has been witnessing something of a revival of this kind of product in recent times. Vertical blinds used to be seen as a rather dull form of window treatment that was used in practical applications such as offices and public amenities. However new releases in contemporary colours have brought new visual interest and an element of fashion and design to these products. Visually appealing and offering a simple, pared back look, vertical blinds work well in homes and offices because they help maintain room temperature and control light levels inside the property. They’re a cost effective option that’s sought after particularly by first home buyers such as young couples and families. Once again they offer some of the key benefits of venetian blinds such as ease of use and light and privacy control.”

Another advantage offered by vertical blinds is that they co-ordinate well with roller blinds, with many suppliers offering ranges that allow homeowners to have both roller and vertical blinds in the same fabric on different windows.

Whichever style of blind, or combination of styles is being purchased, it’s clear that demand for blinds in Adelaide is flourishing. That demand is undoubtedly being driven by the above factors, not least Adelaide’s dynamic real estate market. Rising energy bills across Australia, along with a national obsession with renovation and home décor inspired by so many of our TV shows, are adding heat to the market, meaning blinds are increasingly in demand from practical, style conscious and energy efficient property owners!

motorised blinds

‘Top Ten’ -6+4 tips for motorised blinds + awnings this summer!

If you’re an Aussie homeowner, when summer approaches, from Melbourne to Adelaide, to Sydney and Perth, there’s a strong chance you’ve been swayed by the multitude of home improvement shows on our TV screens and are already planning a makeover blitz for your home, most importantly focusing on keeping your interiors cool and stylish through the addition of motorised blinds while also enhancing your outdoor spaces through awnings.

Focusing on the interior of the home, motorisation is a big buzzword in blinds right now. Australian householders are increasingly investing in motorised products that will enable them to control their interior temperature and environment with style. Whether shopping for blinds in Melbourne or blinds in Adelaide, householders across the nation are buying motorised or automated blinds, due to their growing price accessibility and numerous practical benefits, which are applicable to a range of products, from venetian blinds to roller blinds, honeycomb blinds and panel blinds, as well as exterior blinds and awnings.

Moving outside, you may well have done some garden maintenance and planting and even considered upgrading the old ‘barbie’; and of course, if you’re thinking about spending a lot of time outdoors (and who doesn’t, in the Australian summer?) some kind of blind, awning or shading solution has probably entered the mix.

If you’re still awaiting enlightenment and considering your options, here are 6+4 tips to help your selection process:-

INTERIORS: The benefits of blind motorisation

One:
Growing uptake of motorised blinds has meant falling prices, resulting in a ‘virtuous circle’ that has seen high quality motorisation options steadily dropping in price in recent years.

Two:
With the touch of a button you can move your blind to whatever position you like.

Three:
The addition of sensors and timers means your products can be operated remotely, even when you’re not at home, enabling you to keep the heat at bay should solar glare intensify, no matter where you are.

Four:
In contrast to manual operation, which can damage blinds through excessive pulling and improper operation, the controlled operation of blinds ensures good function and better durability.

Five:
Safety is another important issue, particularly where young kids are involved, as loose cords and chains on venetian blinds, roller blinds, honeycomb blinds or panel blinds present a strangulation risk to children. Automated or motorised blinds generally don’t require cords, providing a much safer environment.

Six:
Add to this the discreet, quiet and smooth operation of today’s motors and the benefits speak for themselves. Most current motors are fully concealed inside the tube of the blind and operate virtually noiselessly.

 

Understanding your blind motorisation options

Motorised blinds are usually available in two options: either a wired motor that requires a licenced electrician to install it, or a wirefree one that can be easily installed by the homeowner. Wired motors are generally more powerful and suitable for larger blinds or for situations where two or more blinds need to be linked together. The wirefree motor is battery operated and is more suitable for smaller blinds up to two by two metres in size. It also has a built in radio receiver and is remote control operated.

motorised blinds

somfy battery motor

Somfy and Rollease-Acmeda are two of the leading suppliers of motorised blind options and are leading the way with a range of both wired and wirefree motors. With motor options available on all of Blinds On the Net ‘Australian custom made’ roller blinds, a typical example of a wired motor is the Automate range supplied by Rollease-Acmeda. The range includes mechanical limit, electronic limit and wirefree motors with specialised features such as collision control for blind fabric preservation, ultra-quiet performance for minimal noise disruption, synchronisation for precision positioning and self-tightening for perfectly closed cassettes.

Meanwhile new Somfy wire free motor and remote control are the ideal solution for anyone reluctant to hire a sparky while also possessing a penchant for elegance and style. The motor uses powerful lithium batteries that will last for years and are easily replaced. These are contained in a slim wand which is easily hidden behind the blind. A built-in radio receiver operates the blind via the remote, which also works with a small but powerful battery.

Wired and wire-free products offered by Blinds On The Net include:

  • Wired Rollease-Acmeda Automate RTS, including remote. RTS means a built in receiver/switch operated by a radio remote.
  • Wired Rollease-Acmeda Automate non-RTS home automation motor. No Remote. Non-RTS means no receiver/switch in the motor so it relies on a home automation system or other switches for operation.
  • Wired Somfy Altus RTS including remote. Motor with integrated radio control. This is a classic multi-purpose unit to motorise a host of products including roller shutters, awnings or vertical blinds. A key benefit is that it can be pre-programmed with “my” favourite position.
  • Wired Somfy Mercure non-RTS home automation motor. No remote.
  • Wirefree Rollease-Acmeda Automate rechargeable including remote and charger.
  • Wirefree Somfy with battery wand including remote.
External awnings

External awnings

EXTERIORS: Stay cool this summer with exterior blinds and awnings

As the weather heats up and the flies and mosquitos inevitably appear,  we know that Spring is here and Summer is on its way. This is the perfect time to consider investing in awnings, flyscreens and exterior blinds that can give your home a colourful and stylish facelift while also paring back your cooling bill this summer. Below are four key pointers for investing in awnings and outdoor blinds for the warmer weather:-

One:
Sun protection is a non-negotiable in the Australian climate. Awnings made from durable, high quality canvas, can reduce heat exposure of your home up to 80% before the heat it even reaches your window! Ideally awning fabrics should be rated +50 UPF, which is the highest possible solar protection factor for textiles. It’s worth noting that fabric in dark colours affords 100% protection while lighter colours stop up to 97% of UV radiation. The UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) specifies how much longer you can be exposed to sunlight when protected from it by the given UPF without suffering sunburn.

Good awning fabrics are also able to control and modify light transmittance, or the amount of visible light that passes through the sun shading unit. Screen fabrics can block up to 95% of visible light, while in terms of solar direct transmittance or the amount of the sun’s radiation or heat that passes through the shading unit, good screen fabrics can block up to 90% of direct radiation.

Two:
Give your home a facelift and a new room! Awnings are a great way to enliven your outside space and create an extra ‘outdoor room’ in which to relax and entertain while enjoying protection from the elements. And given the growing population of inner city dwellers, it’s good to know that awnings and outdoor blinds can really enhance the ambience of a city pad. Apartments with smaller courtyards in modern developments often face dual challenges – how to make the most of space while also reducing their energy bills. The addition of awnings and blinds in Melbourne apartments or units for example, can create great energy saving shading solutions for such homes.

If you have a small back yard it may be time to replace this with some eye-catching brickwork, paving or decking to create a low-maintenance but well integrated space. Instead of traditional flowerbeds you might want to statement pots and bench seating that can also be used for storage. If you’re lucky enough to possess a large garden, these rules still apply to a designated area close to the house such as a terrace or patio. Other ways of sprucing up your outdoor room might include a water feature or a vertical garden or herbarium.

Some tips to consider when planning your outdoor room:

  • Think about how you want to use this area. For example will you be using it during the day or also at night? Does it need to be child friendly? How often will you entertain in this space? How many people do you want to be able to fit into your area?
  • Will your outdoor space also encompass dining and or cooking as well as comfortable seating?
  • Remember to invest in quality. Outdoor furniture should be good quality and built to last. For outdoor blinds and awnings, refer to a trusted brand that uses proven technology for durability and safety.
  • Clarify your vision – Define your requirements and objectives from the outset and keep referring to them as the project evolves. You might want to use a scrap book, or Instagram or Pinterest to collate your visual ideas.

Three:
Be aware of the choices. Awnings come in a wide variety of applications, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs. Outdoor vertical blinds can be used on windows to reduce glare while also being coordinated with other shading solutions or awnings to help create your ‘outdoor room’. Many awnings are easy to use and can be rolled away completely or stopped in any position with their self-locking arm, and of course motorisation options are available for many types of awning. Meanwhile spring loaded awnings are strong sellers in the market as they are a low cost, easy way to add impact to the look of your home while enhancing its cooling.

A retractable folding arm awning is well worth considering and is also available in motorised versions for ease of retraction. Retractable awnings are great for seasonal flexibility as they can be extended in summer for added shade and retracted in winter for optimum sunshine, and they also feature handy sun, rain and wind sensors to automate the retraction.

Straight drop awnings provide external protection to windows from sun, light and heat and they are a great way to enclose openings in a courtyard. Apart from sun and wind protection, they also keep out dirt, rain and insects. There are two basic types of straight drop awnings: un-tensioned awnings that use the weight of their base rail to keep the fabric cover from blowing or billowing in the wind, suitable for smaller awnings in protected or less windy areas; or tensioned awnings that use gas struts or elasticised belts to pull the fabric down, keeping it taut in high wind conditions, very reliable and suitable for larger straight drop awnings in windy areas.

Many awnings are sold to match with exterior roofing and guttering colours from suppliers such as Colorbond. Custom made awnings are available in both canvas and screen fabrics. Awnings are also available with or without head boxes and side wire guides.

Four:
Location, location, location! Requirements for awnings will vary greatly depending on where you’re located. If you’re looking for exterior blinds in Adelaide and you live in the hills area, your choice will be very different from that of someone living in Sydney by the water. For the Sydneysider, an awning treated with corrosion protection would be worth considering, due to the effects of sea salt which can be very harsh on products. Meanwhile some awnings perform better in windy conditions than others due to their mechanism and design. If you’re shopping for exterior awnings or blinds in Melbourne you may want to select an awning that offers protection from the rain and wind as well as the sun. Many homeowners in the Victorian capital are renovating heritage homes, and the addition of a classic striped awning can make all the difference in enhancing a home’s kerb appeal and re-sale value.

Conclusion:
We’re reporting growing uptake of blinds in Adelaide and blinds in Melbourne, as well as the other key Australian markets, and the reasons for this are clear. Spring and summer are times for renewal and by renewal, we mean renovation! Revamping your window coverings through the addition of motorised blinds is now price accessible to most home owners and will lend enviable style and convenience to your interiors. If you can co-ordinate this effort with the addition of state-of-the-art exterior shading solutions such as external blinds and awnings to create new and enticing spaces outside your home, you will have the scorching Australian summer months well and truly covered!

Cheap blinds Melbourne

Cheap blinds Melbourne – a world of window coverings

The city’s seemingly unstoppable growth of new apartments and rental properties, not to mention increasing focus on saving a dollar amid continuing uncertainty in the economic climate, are just some reasons why, if you’re looking for a strong market for low cost or cheap blinds Melbourne is a great place to start.

Sales of blinds, including venetian blinds, roller blinds, honeycell blinds and panel blinds continue to grow year on year in the Victorian capital, with cheap blinds increasingly sought after as property owners or landlords make the most of offerings from companies keen to offer real value for money; in other words, low cost blinds with a high level of quality and service.

Low overheads, particularly for online retailers, along with high quality offshore manufacture make the possibilities for offering cheap blinds with durable, reliable construction almost endless. Most e-tailers will offer a range of ready-made blinds including Roman Blinds, Roller Blinds, Aluminium Venetian Blinds, Sunscreen Roller blinds and even Dual Roller Blinds. Price sensitive and offering impressive colour ranges and fast delivery, these ready made blinds are typically offered with a cut-down service to ensure they fit the end-consumer’s size requirements.

Commentators from the retail sector note that Melbourne shoppers are particularly savvy when it comes to researching the cheap blinds available before they make their purchase.

“We’re finding that when it comes to cheap blinds Melbourne consumers are pretty cluey in terms of understanding the features and benefits of most window coverings,” said one. “There’s such a wealth of information available on the web, from home improvement sites to consumer reviews and real-time feedback from social media, that shoppers really know how to make the most of their budget. For example, they know that it might be wise to splurge on big ticket items such as plantation shutters and drapes in key areas of their homes, and to really economise by using cheap blinds in less frequented areas of the home.”

Cheap blinds Melbourne

“Another thing we’ve noted is that shoppers are also pretty switched on when it comes to saving expenditure on energy. They’ll be aware that in colder rooms or rooms with south facing windows, it makes sense to invest in insulating products such as honeycell blinds, while in hotter rooms or those with north facing windows, reducing glare through the use of blockout fabric is a priority.”

“Given the wealth of colours and materials now available, they can usually find a range of different products that co-ordinate well together.”

With the dramatic fluctuations in Victoria’s climate, it’s no surprise that cheap blinds in Melbourne are offered in a huge range of fabric options; blockout completely eliminates light access and allows total privacy; translucent gives privacy but still allows filtered light. Meanwhile sunscreen fabrics maintain homeowners’ view and allow for partial filtration of light.

With most cheap blinds offered with optional remote controlled motorisation, it’s also easy to operate and control the blinds in your Melbourne home at the simple touch of a button!

Venetians

All about verticals and venetians

For anyone seasoned in the search for blinds online it’s by now very apparent that there’s a blind for every need and application. You may be searching for roller blinds online, for their great practical qualities, or roman blinds online for their classic appeal. Blinds are available for every room of the house and every imaginable function; they can also be tricked up or toned down by pairing them with curtains or sheers.

However, amid the great abundance of online blinds, there are a couple of old favourites in the world of window coverings that, having taken a back seat in recent years, deserve a second look: timber blinds, (also known as timber venetian blinds) and vertical blinds. While superficially different, these two blinds operate according to a similar principle; the ability to control light and heat entering an interior due to their slatted structure.

Of course they also each offer their own unique properties:-

Vertical blinds

Regarded as a failsafe classic, good timber venetians look great in any room of the house and have added functional benefits, providing shade in the warmest months, while allowing the sun to shine in during winter and enabling views to the outside. Installed correctly and considered in line with the dominant décor of the house, they create a classic look that also manages to be contemporary, adding an understated touch of beauty to any home. If you’re looking for venetian blinds online, make sure to invest in high quality timber blinds made from premium grade timber such as Cedar and built to last. Lower quality versions can often be prone to bowing, warping and splitting, which creates an unsightly appearance and also compromises the functionality of the product.

Another classic, vertical blinds are increasingly being sought due to their useful combination of blind and curtain, blending the functionality of a flexible light control due to variably movable vertical blinds and providing solar protective features with a clean, no-nonsense aesthetic. While they’ve previously been reserved for more functional applications such as offices and commercial buildings, their merits in residential décor are becoming apparent. For one thing their vertical thrust elongates windows, making them and any room in which they’re installed, appear higher than they really are. Consumers can now purchase vertical blinds online in different contemporary colours and designs and they are in fact highly suited for current trends in interior design in which clear lines are dominant. Another benefit of vertical blinds is that they can be easily installed and can be either inside or outside mounted. Most come with a valance, which is used to cover the top mechanism of the blind.

For those searching for blinds online Australia has a great offering of both venetian blinds online and vertical blinds online. Given the clean, no-fuss aesthetic of many Australian homes and the demands of the local climate, it certainly makes sense to consider either or both of these two reliable, cost-effective and useful window coverings as part of your décor scheme.